YouTube has made $1 billion in payouts from its ContentID system since it was implemented in 2007. This technology helps many of the video network’s content creators to control how their material is made available. The program has been especially helpful for musicians and music labels, since many YouTube users upload video with copyrighted audio material. The rights holders can either have infringing videos taken down or have ads placed in them to generate revenue.
Ryan Farish, an EDM composer and producer, told RAIN about the role ContentID played in helping him achieve success. Not only did it provide him with some extra money, but it revealed exactly where his creations were being used. That knowledge and support from YouTube enabled him to balance the need to protect his work but also be properly compensated when it got played on the network.
The development of this program has helped make YouTube a platform that major copyright holders can leverage while listeners and viewers get a chance to enjoy media for free. With more than 5,000 rights holders participating, it has been one of the more successful efforts in online music to serve the needs of both audiences and creators.